Sri Lanka shares hit new high, seen over-valued

Sep 14, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares hit a 30-month high Monday as bullish investor’s placed bets on financial and healthcare sector stocks, brokers said. The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed up 0.77 percent (21.92 points) to end at 2,862.25, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 0.49 percent (15.66 points) to close at 3,186.22, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 936.3 million rupees.

“The market had been continuing on the upward trend for a considerable period and looks a bit overheated and we could expect some profit taking to come soon,” Thakshila Hulangamuwa, vice president of stock brokers Asha Phillip Securities said.

But despite the fluctuations the market could hit 3,000 points on the ASPI by year-end, he said.

Insurance company Asian Alliance closed at 58.75 rupees, up 3.75, while Central Finance closed at 300.00 rupees, up 10.00.

Commercial Bank closed at 166.00 rupees, up 1.00, while DFCC Bank closed at 150.00 rupees, up 75 cents.

Hatton National Bank closed at 155.00 rupees, up 6.25.

Nations Trust Bank closed at 32.50 rupees, up 1.50, while Sampath Bank closed at 172.00 rupees, up 2.00.

Seylan Merchant Leasing closed at 43.00 rupees, up 7.50.

There was some considerable interest in the healthcare sector, brokers said.

Nawaloka Hospitals closed at 3.50 rupees, up 20 cents, while Asiri Hospitals closed at 75.00 rupees, up 7.25.

The Lanka Hospital Corporation ended at 21.00 rupees, up 50 cents on 30,500 shares traded.

Retail investors were seen buying into Touchwood shares, brokers said.

Over a million Touchwood shares changed hands and it closed at 97.25 rupees, up 6.00.

Index heavy blue chip John Keells Holdings closed at 147.00 rupees, up 75 cents, while Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, a unit of unlisted Stassens Group closed at 82.50 rupees, up 50 cents.

Index heavy Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed flat at 6.00 rupees, with over 600,000 shares changing hands, while Sri Lanka’s largest fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom closed flat at 45.25 rupees.

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